Wednesday, 29 April 2009

In and Out - April

OK...to kick off the return to more regular posting again (hopefully!), I thought what better way than with my Ins and Outs for April (another month flown by so quickly!).

IN:

Maybelline ~ My liking and respect for this brand has been reawakened recently. I have expressed my love for their mineral blushers, and I'm still loving them...but now there is a new Maybelline obsession in my life...Lash Stiletto! OH. MY. GOSH. This mascara, for me, is not far from off from being considered as a HG, honestly! Other than the very highly perfumed scent, I can't fault this mascara...it gives me amazing length, doesn't flake or clump and seperates the lashes really nicely! I'm already considering purchasing more of these :) I have very sensitive eyes, and this hasn't irritated them one bit...and I've worn it every day since purchasing about 2/3 weeks ago!

Girls Aloud ~ OK, so this is perhaps slightly obvious, they will NEVER be on my out list...but the anticipation of seeing them at the o2 arena in May is driving me crazy! I've heard so many rave reviews about their performances, outfits etc...and I'm resisting looking/watching because I want it all to be a surprise! I'm so fricking excited people!!! I also got a couple of the Girls Aloud lashes by Eyelure a while ago, and haven't tried them out yet, but I just can't stop looking at them, sooo pretty! I got Cheryl (duh!) and Nicola - my two fave members! I will 100% be wearing them to the concert...eeeeeee!

Gok ~ I'll keep this short and sweet...a man who can make just about any woman feel A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. This guy has got some serious charm skills! I heart Gok ♥

Floral prints ~ I was of the rather old fashioned opinion that floral prints were dowdy, frumpy and reserved for the older generations...how wrong can I be? Take one look at some of the recent additions to my wardrobe and it's floral prints galore! Perhaps it's the bouts of sunny weather we've been having, but there is something so cheerful and feminine about putting on a pretty floral top! I'm trying to be more adventourous, and get pieces that are a little different, so prints are in, and plain is out!

May ~ It's going to be a busy, busy month for me, hopefully full of more ins than outs! I'm really excited about Girls Aloud, my boy is turning 30 (so perhaps I should quit referring to him as a boy?!) and I'm meeting some of my favourite guru's, who have turned into firm friends :) We're going for a big girly make up shop, of course, and it's just what I'm in good need of right now!

Swapping ~ I'm still swapping ladies! >>> www.swapsiesuk.co.uk <<< class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_0">Stef (aka The Lip Print) in Oz, and I can't wait to receive my goodies from her...she has impeccable taste, so I know I'll love it :)

OUT:

Trashy mags ~I have never really bought them, but I needed some change for a car park ticket last week after an impromptu shopping session, so bought the first cheap mag (which just so happened to have Cheryl and Nicola on it!) to get change from my £20. I shall not name drop here, but my whole experience of reading, or should I say distastefully flicking through, just reinforced my belief that mags like that are simply a good for nothing waste of trees and energy! I may outrage some people with that statement, but hey, it's my opinion! What have 'celebs' done to deserve their sweat patches, spots or cellulite being magnified and circled in magazines, to be scrutinised and criticised by people with nothing better to do...crikey, if someone did that to me they would have a full time job right there! It's downright disgusting and so, so degrading...I will never purchase said magazine again, no matter who is on the cover. Sensationalist twoodle.

Hair ~ I am NOT liking my hair right now...not one little bit. I have a love hate relationship with my hair about 99% of the time...it always seems to be pretty soft and nice to the touch, after it's been freshly washed. However, it spends about 10% of the time clean, for about 1 hour after washing, then 90% being greasy, lank and generally uninspiring! I had it cut quite short at the start of the year, and I liked it...but I keep seeing photos of my with long hair, and I really prefer how I look in them. I'm not happy with the stylist and colourist that I use, but she's a family friend and has done my hair since the day dot, plus she's a lot cheaper than mainstream salons...she just isn't cutting the mustard though. Any recommendations?

Stress ~ I am feeling it big time, and while I'm trying my hardest to maintain my sunny, happy disposition, they strain I'm under is taking it's toll on me...I just want to feel like myself again, and not a snappy, irritable shadow of myself...I feel like I have permanent PMS, and it's really naffing me off :(

Let downs ~ I'm feeling rather let down by some people in my life at the moment, for various reasons...it just annoys me that you can't rely on some people for anything, and it bugs me! I won't divulge much more detail than that, and I don't want to moan, but it's just one of my really big peeves right now...argh!

x x x

Sunday, 19 April 2009

A Review: Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid Foundation


Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid
Air Whipped Foundation

I purchased this foundation about 2/3 weeks ago, and wanted to give it a fair usage and trial before I reviewed it. I was very surprised to actually find a decent colour match, which is something quite unheard, given my ghostly white skin!

The Maybelline website claims this about the Foundation:

"- 100% poreless look
- Air-brush finish
- Full yet lightweight coverage
- Ultra-bendable, comfortable texture
- Satin perfect, luminous finish
- Available in 8 shades

Hybrid air-whipped liquid formula has the light airy feel of a mousse with the blendability of a liquid. Formula contains amino-acid treated pigments that help unify the complexion"

What Do I Think?

I'm a pretty recent Maybelline convert, having tried many of their products recently, and loving them! However, I kept an open mind about this product, because to me, it made some big claims that I wasn't sure it could keep! I must say I was pleasantly surprised. There is nothing wrong with this foundation, although some of the claims aren't totally accurate. Maybelline claim this foundation will give you a 100% poreless look...as you well know, my pores and me don't get on, so I was pleased to see this foundation does indeed minimise the look of my pores, although 100% poreless is not entirely true. It also claims to leave an 'air brushed' finish, which again isn't entirely the case, but it certainly doesn't look cakey or too thick on my skin. The only claim I really don't agree with is the 'full but lightweight coverage'. There is NO way this foundation provides a full coverage, unless you really were to layer it on with a trowel! It's a light coverage foundation, extremely lightweight, you can barely feel it on your skin. You would need to use a concealer to cover up any really obvious blemishes, but it does provide an even coverage, which masks any redness you may have (I do!). I agree with Maybelline's claim that this foundation is 'ultra blendable', it is so soft, light and silky, it almost feels like you're applying a serum or something, and it blends in perfectly with your fingers or a brush. Maybelline say this foundation will leave your skin with a 'satin perfect, luminous finish', which I think is pretty spot on. The choice of shades is I think, pretty darn good, and as I mentioned, I was surprised I found a great match for my skin!

What Else Is Available?

Maybelline have an extensive product range, more of which can be found on their website.

How Much Will It Cost?

I've found it quite hard to find an RRP for this foundation, primarily because it is still on offer in most stores near me! I *think* it's around the £6/7 mark, for 30ml.

Where Is It Sold?

Maybelline is sold nationwide, in most drugstores and in some supermarkets.

Would I Recommend This?

I do really quite like this foundation, it feels lovely to apply, doesn't have an overpowering scent like some liquid foundations I've tried, and gives a natural looking complexion. However, and this is quite a big however...the durability of this foundation is not great. It won't last you a whole day, so if you like your make up to look exactly as it did first thing in the morning, you would need to touch this up in the afternoon. For me, it does an OK job, and is probably a great texture and finish for summer, however if you are looking for a thicker, full coverage foundation, this is not going to be the one for you.

Star Rating:

3.5/5


Saturday, 18 April 2009

A Review: Lush Tea Tree Water Toner


Lush Tea Tree Water
Popular Toner (100g)

The Lush website says this:
"Popular toner for normal to oily skin.
Tea Tree water is the one we recommend for oily skin, especially if it's leading to teenage spottiness. (Tea tree, or ti-tri as it's called in it's native Australia, is the most amazing multi-purpose first-aid item: scratches, spots, stings; you name it and ti-tri fixes it). Anyway, we use tea tree water in our toner to cleanse, soothe and clear blemishes. We add grapefruit water to tone and detoxify your skin and juniperberry to refresh and stimulate it, all leading to a happier, less congested state of affairs in the facial department. Juniper is said to refresh tired spirits too, so feel free to spray your face with it when you're feeling drowsy"

I have been using this Lush toner for approx a month now, and at first I have to be honest, I wasn't sure. However, fast forward to now, and I am almost at the point of giving this product the HG status! I went into Lush primarily because I was curious. It has always been somewhere I passed by, noticing the very powerful smells seeping out of the doors, but there has been a lot of hype for Lush on the blogging scene of late. One of my current bug bears is open and very visible pores on my face, so with this in mind I went into the store. I was immediately greeted by a very helpful (and NOT pushy) sales assistant, who guided me through some of the products she felt would meet my requirements. I left Lush with a 100g bottle of their Tea Tree Water Toner and a big chunk of Porridge Soap.

The whole point and principle of Lush products is that they are all made with very fresh and natural ingredients, and are not tested on animals. Take a look at the ingredients for the Toner:
Tea Tree Water (Melaleuca alternifolia), Grapefruit Water (Citrus grandis), Juniperberry Water (Juniperus communis), *Limonene, Perfume, Methylparaben
* Occurs naturally in Essential Oils

What Do I Think?
I think a very telling indication of the effectiveness of a product is to stop using it! I didn't use this toner for a couple of days, and my skin went to pot! Honestly! I think toner is such a simple, but staple element of ones skincare routine, something that isn't always considered necessary, but personally I reap the benefits. Ever since using this product I have seen notable improvements to the texture and appearance of my skin. Toners can sometimes be too harsh and astringent on your skin, making it feel tight and often quite dry. The exact opposite can be said of this Lush toner, in my opinion. My skin feels SO smooth and soft immediately after using, and anything applied on top of it (moisturiser, primer etc) just glides on and is absorbed much more efficiently. This toner makes my skin feel so healthy and clean, and whilst it hasn't cured my skin completely of the occasional, pre-menstrual blemish, it has made a marked difference to my pores and the overall appearance of my skin.

What Else Is Available?
Lush make a LOT of products, which I will not even begin to list! They are all handmade, using fresh natural ingredients. Lush also make a free paper called Lush Times, which is great for getting to grips with new products and to see a full product listing.

How Much Will It Cost?
The 100g bottle has a RRP of £2.89, there is also a 250g bottle with a RRP of £6.12 (but this doesn't fit in my storage!)

Where Is It Sold?
Lush stores can be found nationwide, and you can also buy online via the Lush website.

Would I Recommend This?
100% yes! If you have oily skin, which is prone to visible pores and blemishes, this is a must try product. Toner is a simple, effortless addition to your skincare regime, but the effects of this are really worthwhile! I've already repurchased! This ticks all of the boxes for me! I am definitely interested in trying other facial skincare products from Lush!

Star Rating:
5/5

Friday, 10 April 2009

A Review: Clynol Powder Punch


Clynol Powder Punch
Texture & Styling Powder

A lovely lady sent me this product to trial, and I had a lot of fun doing so! I'd never used anything like this on my hair, and it took some getting used too. The product has a powder like consistency, and is supposed to turn into a liquid when shaken onto and rubbed into your palms. It didn't turn to liquid as such, if anything it dissolved into a paste like texture, which pretty much disappeared. This is what the Clynol website claims about the product:

"Clynol's new texture powder has just the right amount of attitude to create textured looks to turn heads! Powder Punch's unique formula lets you create the most versatile looks! Transform your look to match your game: rework, restyle and keep 100% control of your look – anytime, anywhere… Lightweight Texture & Separation Soft Matt Effect Natural Movement of Hair Fully remouldable A remouldable texturising powder that achieves separation and hold, for a rough matt finish"

What Do I Think?
I thought the best way to demonstrate the effects of this product, was by showing classic before and after pictures. My sister kindly offered to model too...please excuse our sleepy faces, we'd just woken up! The results speak for themselves!

BEFORE:


AFTER@


BEFORE:


AFTER:

As you can see, this product certainly gives volume, and creates plenty of texture...however, are the results desirable? Not really, in my opinion. I really wanted to like this product, and I don't like to give a bad review on something I have been sent, however, I will always be honest, and I'm afraid I just did not get on with this! A lot of the feedback I had heard on this product revolved around it not being sticky or greasy, although I have to say I thought the exact opposite. It left a very sticky residue on the hair, and when brushed out hair becomes very static. The volume produced did not hold for long, so if you are after a styling product that will last all night, I don't suggest you try this. My sister and I have different hair types, however we both had the same experience with the product, and whilst we certainly had a few giggles using it, we wouldn't chose to buy this and use in our hair styling routines.

What Else Is Available?
The Powder Punch is from the Clynol's 'Play With Me' line. Other products in the line include: Rocky, Texty, Matty and Tease. To visit the Clynol website, click here.

How Much Will It Cost?
This product will be sold at an RRP of £10.60

Where Is It Sold?
Clynol products are available from www.clynol.com or www.hairsupermarket.com

Would I Recommend This?
In all honesty I would not recommend this product. If you are looking for something fun to play around with when trying different styles at home, this could be for you. However, if you are looking for a styling product with serious definition and staying power, this is not going to be for you. I would not purchase this product, but I'm sure I will have fun using it up!

Star Rating:

2/5

Friday, 3 April 2009

What Does Make Up Mean To Me?


Make up...initially the very thing that unites us bloggers the most. However, I'm sure that as with most things in life, it means different things to different people. So here is my take, what make up means to ME.

I've heard make up being referred to in many different ways. The one that irritates me the most is when make up is referred to as a mask, a way of covering up your skin and hiding yourself. To me, that could not be further from the truth. I'm sure when I was younger I may have been guilty of being naive and uneducated in the realms of make up, and saw 'older' ladies with it plastered on their faces and took this to be the norm. As I've got older, and wiser I like to think, I soon came to realise make up is not like that at all. Of course there are some who really like to trowel on their make up, and do use it as a mask, each to their own...but for me, that is so far removed from how I see it. To me, make up is a creative, artistic form of expression...it can allow us to transfer elements of our personality topically, to enhance ourselves, demonstrate our talents and just have fun. To me, make up should never be a chore. The day I wake up and think that the last thing I want to do is put on my make up will be a bad one...hopefully by then I'll be 100 years old and contending with too many wrinkles to even contemplate it! Until then, I shall continue to thoroughly enjoy it!

I am predominantly inspired by the make up of the 1950's era, the whole red lips, smoky eyes and winged eye-liner...think Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and more recently the fabulous Dita Von Teese, who emanates the 50's notions of make up and style perfectly. I think the make up of this era was about enhancing what you had, and also using the red lips as a seductive, powerful tool, the darker smoky eyes for extra dramatic effect. The 1950's in general are an inspiration for me, so it's only natural that the make up follows suit, it is just so classic and elegant, and I suppose in the back of my mind, this is essentially how I would like to be.
Even those these photos are not in colour, I think the fact their features are well emphasised indicates great make up!

Dita Von Tesse in particular is also a powerful influence whenever I look at my naturally pale skin with distaste, she carries off the pale skin amazingly, and it reminds me to embrace and care for mine.



I think make up can be a fabulous confidence booster. If you are not completely comfortable with your 'naked' skin, there are countless ways you can cleverly apply your make up to disguise what you perceive as the negative parts. I'm fortunate enough to have never suffered from acne, but I had friends who did, and I could see how painfully self conscious it made them, and how that dented their overall confidence in themselves as a person.

Our faces are hugely important, whether you chose to wear make up or not. They are, in a cheesy sort of way, the window to our souls...portraying our emotions, our health and our heritage. The methods in which we decide to decorate them is, in my opinion, hugely insightful into who we are. Personally, I attempt to enhance my natural beauty, I accept that I have it, in a non egotistical way. I like to use a light covering of foundation, on the days when I need a boost. I like to emphasise my eyes, give my cheeks a natural, healthy looking glow, and have full, plump lips. I don't believe this is necessarily vain, just taking a vested interest in oneself and taking pride in my appearance.

I'm also inspired by colours, particularly browns, blues, greens and purples...I get inspired by what I see around me, which can be pretty much anything from the colours in a chocolate sundae to a nice dress or pair of shoes! The world truly is our oyster, and make up is a fantastic form of expression whilst we explore it!

So...that is what make up means to me!

x x x

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

A Review: No7 Deeply Moisturising Lipcare


No7 Deeply Moisturising Lipcare
Smoothes and hydrates in 24 hours. Just smooth onto lips morning and night.

You ALL know I am a bit of a sucker for the No7 range, and there are few products from them that I haven't tried at one time or another! I love it when Boots are offering the £5 No7 vouchers, I have made great use of them. I purchased this product with a £5 voucher, and it was actually in the reduced 'bin', for reasons I am not entirely sure of because No7 still stock this item. I think I got this for free essentially, due to the already reduced price.

The Boots website says this about the product:
"No7 Deeply Moisturising Lipcare intensively quenches your lips with a silky-soft balm. No7's rich conditioning formula boosts moisture for 24 hours, leaving even dry, chapped lips completely kissable"

What Do I Think?
Hmm...! I think that may say it all, but to summarise - this may be the first No7 product I'm not a fan of! SHOCK HORROR! There is nothing offensively wrong with this, it just doesn't work! I have been using this for well over a month now, applying it religiously every morning and night, and I just don't see any changes in my lips...in fact, the only changes I do see are negative, I think my lips might be drier and more prone to chapping! I am always susceptible to this in the winter, however this treatment 'should' counteract that...but for me, it unfortunately does nothing! Nada! Zilch! I will probably continue to use it, unless the chapping gets much worse, because I don't like to buy something and then not use it! I suppose the positive about this are the scent, which like most No7 products is nice and fresh, it's hypo-allergenic and a little goes a long way, but I wouldn't really have much else to say about it!

What Else Is Available?
The No7 range is extensive, ranging from facial and body skincare, to make up, to tools and storage...I'm obviously not going to document ALL of the products, but you can expect some more No7 reviews soon! For more information, click here to go to the website.

How Much Will It Cost?
It is currently retailing for £8.56, and Boots are doing a 3for2 offer on all No7 products.

Where Is It Sold?
No7 is, to my knowledge, only available in the UK, and only at Boots stores. Even the small stores stock some No7, although be warned it may be limited stock items, and not the full range. For the best range, check online or go to a larger store. Always watch out for offers too, I think there is something every week!

Would I Recommend This?
Obviously, other people may love this, but for me, my skin type and my expectations, it's a no I'm afraid!

Star Rating:
1/5